A new documentary that premiered Saturday (March 11) at South By South West suggests Mike Brown didn’t rob a local convenience store hours before his death, but was instead involved in a misunderstanding possibly related to a drug transaction.
In “Stranger Fruit” director Jason Pollock uncovers unseen footage of the 18-year-old entering Ferguson Market and Liquor around 1 a.m. on August 9, 2014. In the clip, Brown walks up to the counter and hands the cashier what looks like a small brown paper bag of marijuana and in return the clerk gives Brown two boxes of cigarillos. Brown started to leave with the cigarillos but then turned to the clerk to hold for him, Pollock said in the documentary. Later on that day Brown returned to retrieve the items.
“Mike did not rob the store,” Pollock said.
The footage that went viral during the Ferguson uprising which show Brown in a confrontation with the store owner Pollock says isn’t Brown robbing the convenience store, but rather retrieving the cigarillos he left on the counter earlier.
“It was a misunderstanding,” Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother said in the documentary.
A lawyer for the store denies Pollock’s narrative. “There was no understanding. No agreement. Those folks didn’t sell him cigarillos for pot. The reason he gave it back is he was walking out the door with unpaid merchandise and they wanted it back,” Jay Kanzler told The New York Times.
Eleven hours later, Brown got into a fatal confrontation with Wilson, which would ignite the Ferguson uprisings.